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Voter registration deadline right around the corner

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media

From congressional races in newly drawn districts to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s matchup with Republican challenger Lee Zeldin, this year’s election is garnering a lot of interest.

Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said he expects a high turnout this November. In 2018, he said voter turnout was at 67 percent, close to presidential election levels. This year, he thinks the numbers will be similar.

"There's important races up and down the ballot,” said Czarny. “You can't just vote every four years. These midterm elections are very important, even down to town elections that are happening."

Czarny said new voter registrations have to be postmarked by Oct. 14. Any change of address forms need to be received by Oct. 19.

Absentee ballot requests need to be in by Oct. 24, unless those requests are made in person.

Czarny said at this point, voters can still use the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason they’re requesting an absentee ballot, despite legal challenges across the state. But he said there is a big change this year: the Board of Elections is counting absentee ballots as they come in.

"It used to be people would request an absentee and then decide to go to the polls just in case,” said Czarny. “Well, if you request an absentee now, you have to vote by absentee. If you don't vote by absentee you can't vote on the machines at the polls. You have to vote by affidavit ballot."

Czarny said for the latest information from the Board of Elections or to check your voter registration anywhere in New York state, head to onvote.net

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.